Marilou’s true stories…
The magic wove its spell through Marilou’s fingers the day she wrote her first bona fide sentence. She created the words, wrote them down all on her own. When she realized what she had done it lit her up inside. The blond-haired girl was in love.
Marilou was six-years-old.
Years later, in the middle of her first novel, Marilou’s fingers froze on the keyboard. Her eyes glazed at the awareness. “I’ve been here before,” she said aloud. A video played in her head, the years of her life in motion, the epiphany that she had been writing ever since that first sentence.
Even when she taught Sunday school it was with stories she wrote. Marilou loved to write, it was a fire that burned inside … the flames would spark until the writer took her last breath.
The decision to write a book came about in a conversation with a friend. She didn’t have a computer at first so Marilou studied at the library and bought how-to books. She did copious amounts of research before she wrote one word of the first novel. And still, she ran into big problems that cost a lot of money and tremendous anguish.
Worst of all were the results. She had spent countless hours, one whole year, to write her first book. When the writer tried to get the copyright it was refused. It was right after 9/11 and no mail was allowed into the Library of Congress. Two years later she had the copyright and a publishing company contacted her.
This is when she made her biggest mistake. Marilou knew nothing about publishing and didn’t check out the company. It took little persuasion to send them a check and the manuscript. The process went back and forth for one year before she finally held the precious book in hand.
It had been four years … beads of sweat lined her forehead. Marilou’s hands quivered. She had to sit down. Her heart pounded as she opened the cover. What she found shattered her world.
The type was too small. They also had not made the corrections in the printer’s galleys, typos filled the pages. Marilou took a deep breath and made a decision.
Her work was good; she had written a fine novel. Her readers told her so time and again. Still, she had to find a way to benefit from this huge mistake.
This is what she learned:
- Research the field you choose to write about
- Learn how to write a manuscript
- Know everything you can about the publisher you submit your work to
- No matter who publishes your book – you have to sell it
- Check out print-on-demand
- Dedication is critical
- Nothing is more important than “seat time”
There is an expression that motorcycle racers use called “seat time.” The more you have the better you ride. It’s the same for writers. You have to park your rear in the chair and write, write, write.
May Your Glass Always Be Half Full